Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rerun: A Pebble or a Pea?

I was recently going through old posts, from very early on in my blogging days, trying to clean up all the spam comments.  I found myself reading some of them and remembering how much I liked them.

My readership has grown a lot since the early days, so I have decided to share a few of my favorites from times gone past.  And if you've been following my blog from the beginning, just consider them reruns.


A Pebble or a Pea?

Let me take you back to your childhood, the days of fairy tales. 

Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea?  Maybe like me, you remember it as told by "Kermit the Frog" reporting.  While the details change in the retelling, the basic story goes like this.  In an effort to determine if a young girl is a real princess, so that she is suitable for the young prince to marry, a bed is prepared for her as a test.  The bed has many mattresses.  And a secret.  Underneath the mattresses is a single pea.  If the girl is a true princess, she will be sensitive enough to notice the pea despite all the padding.  Morning comes.  The girl hasn't slept because there was something hard in her bed.  She IS a real princess.  Happy ending.  All is well.

Only, let's think about it.  Now that we have lived a little life and had our share of troubles.  How do you see the princess now?  I'm afraid she is now a joke.  Someone who has had such a blissful and pampered life that the smallest difficulty is so troubling that she cannot sleep.

And let us consider another difficulty of similar size.  A pebble.  On the path in front of you it is nothing; inside of your shoe it is everything.  It's about the same size as a pea, but few would argue that you were wrong to be troubled by it.  It would bother most anyone.  Of course it is a problem.

So how often do we confuse the two?  I think that sometimes I'm the princess.  Things have been going well and the smallest thing ruins my perfect picture so it becomes a big deal.  Other times I am so involved with everything else that I try to ignore the pebble in my shoe.  It just doesn't seem like that big of a deal.  But it does take its toll.

Sometimes the pebble is an easy problem.  I take off my shoe, dump it out, put my shoe back on, and am back on my way.

Other times the pebble is disaster.  It was the thing that pushed me over the edge.  I sit down, take off my shoe, throw it, curse it, and cry.

I would like to be better at discerning between pebbles and peas in my life.  And since I have difficulty with my own problems it would stand to reason that I would have even more trouble judging someone else's.

I will try to remember this the next time I see someone I think is a princess wallowing over a pea.  Maybe it was really a pebble in her shoe and she has been walking with it a very long time.


Vicki M. Taylor said...

Whether we are faced with little problems or big problems, it's all in how we deal with them that affects our life. Followed you from SITS. Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a blessed day!

Susannah said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for reposting it!

Anonymous said...

I love this and you've used a great metaphor :)

Kate - diariesofanessexgirl.com

Seana Turner said...

I love this post. You really touched on the key point, which is relativity. And, what is a a huge problem for one person might be easier for someone else. This is the kind of post I know I'll be "chewing on" all day:)

Amy @ Long Drive Journey said...

Wow, what a great perspective. It's so easy to give ourselves so much leeway to wallow in our problems, but then expect others to get it together so quickly. Usually things are more than they seem. Great reminder.

Pam said...

A very wise post. I love the way you presented this.

Estes Family Blog said...

I love this!! It makes perfect sense. I am however the opposite. I've had so much go wrong in life, that I tend to ignore the pebble....that is until it has caused a sore and then I tend to over react!

Dana Hemelt said...

Definitely a post worth rerunning, and since I am a new visitor (visiting back from SITS) I am glad you repeated it. So true - we never know how long a person's been walking with that pebble. Your story is a reminder to not jump to judgment.

Jennifer West said...

What a great post, and I also remember the story being told by Kermit the Frog, as he was my most favoritest frog in the whole wide world! :-) One of my all time favorite stories, and I love reading it to my children now. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful! It is certainly hard for us to determine the size of our problems and even harder to determine others. And then to try to figure it out by reading blog posts or comments is almost impossible. Love this!

Heather Jo Anderson said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post for ages, and, after yet another sleepless night, I'm finally getting to it. Ì have always love The Princess and the Pea, because it gave me hope, when I was a tortured, little girl, that I was really a princess. I've always had trouble sleeping, if there's even the slightest noise, or wrinkle in my sheets, or if someone were to get the tiniest crumb or grain of sand in my bed, then I wouldn't be able to sleep a wink. So, here's just another way of looking at that poor, pampered, princesses, torment: what if the test proved she was a princess, because she really had trouble sleeping at night, because she was constantly worried about the well being of her people? Maybe that tiny pea, was just the small discomfort, that started out with her not sleeping the first hour? She dozes off repeatedly, only to be awakened by a small pain, and it sets off an entire night's worth of worry?
Just sharing my take on her story. Although, it could also be the messed up ramblings of an insomniac zombie. ;)